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Zur Ökonomik der Kontrollmaßnahmen bei Lebensmitteln und Futtermitteln

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  • Lippert, Christian
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    Abstract

    The objective of this article is to describe and to analyse the basic relationships between control frequency, amount of fines, other social sanctions, the producers‘ capability to influence certain attributes (including costs of quality assurance) and damage incidence in the field of food and feedstuffs safety. For this purpose an economic model is developed that minimizes monitoring costs including (a) the harm prevented and (b) the revenues from fines. First, monitoring measures are optimized by exclusively taking account of the interests of consumers and taxpayers. In a second step, the model is enlarged by adding constraints relative to the costs of quality assurance so that aspects of both producer welfare and total social costs are explicitly accounted for when simultaneously optimizing the probability of detection and the degree of punishment. The results derived from the model show among other things: - From an economic point of view legal regulation (i.e. the setting of performance standards) is advisable only in cases of comparatively high potential damages. - Even when the entire production is to be free from certain residues, it is often not necessary to check all units of the commodity considered. - In the presence of (a) poor possibilities to influence an attribute - or a wide range of quality assurance costs among producers - and (b) prospective damages which justify a control frequency of one hundred percent, no fines at all should be stipulated in order to avoid allocative distortions. - In the case of strong social sanctions (e.g. losses of reputation), all else being equal the control frequency may be lowered considerably. Against the background of these conclusions the application of uniform control frequencies is inappropriate. Instead, every food control authority should be free to choose the size of samples, taking into account not only the given structure of fines but also its knowledge concerning the market specific social sanctions, monitoring costs, the extent of potential damages from legal transgressions as well as the producers’ possibilities and costs of influencing the relevant food or feedstuffs attributes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics in its journal German Journal of Agricultural Economics.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:98119

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    Related research

    Keywords: food safety; opportunism; fines; deterrence; monitoring costs; economics of crime; law enforcement; economics of information; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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    1. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    2. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1990. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," NBER Working Papers 3429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cornes,Richard & Sandler,Todd, 1996. "The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods, and Club Goods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521477185.
    5. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    6. Henson, Spencer & Traill, Bruce, 1993. "The demand for food safety : Market imperfections and the role of government," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 152-162, April.
    7. Choi, E. Kwan & Jensen, Helen H., 1991. "Modeling the Effect of Risk on Food Demand and the Implications for Regulation," Staff General Research Papers 468, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Henson, Spencer & Caswell, Julie, 1999. "Food safety regulation: an overview of contemporary issues," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 589-603, December.
    9. Isaac Ehrlich, 1974. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: An Economic Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 68-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Antle, John M., 1999. "Benefits and costs of food safety regulation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 605-623, December.
    11. Golan, Elise H. & Vogel, Stephen J. & Frenzen, Paul D. & Ralston, Katherine L., 2000. "Tracing The Costs And Benefits Of Improvements In Food Safety: The Case Of Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point Program For Meat And Poultry," Agricultural Economics Reports 34023, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. Harford, Jon D., 1978. "Firm behavior under imperfectly enforceable pollution standards and taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 26-43, March.
    13. Loader, Rupert & Hobbs, Jill E., 1999. "Strategic responses to food safety legislation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 685-706, December.
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